Student housing problems still not solved

News - Thursday 05 October 2017

5 October 2017 – The Netherlands still has a shortage of 40,000 student rooms. This was reported in the Landelijke Monitor Studentenhuisvestiging 2017 (National Monitor Student Housing) which came out today. The number of international students increases, but the number of rooms does not rise to the same extent. As a result, thousands of students are still looking for a room. The Dutch Student Union (LSVb) regrets the numbers, but is not surprised. “It is unacceptable that there are still not enough student rooms. The time for lingering aldermen is over. It is time for action” says Tariq Sewbaransingh, president of the LSVb.

More international students

By 2025, the group of international students will be grown by 40% to 117,200 students. At the moment, the housing market is failing in terms of quantity and quality. International students have different housing needs than Dutch students. International students need furnished rooms and they are less flexible when it comes to the rental period. “Universities and colleges should take their responsibility. Together with municipalities and housing cooperatives, they must provide significantly more housing or reduce the recruitment of international students. The housing problems cannot last any longer”, says Sewbaransingh.

Increase of shortage in main student cities

The housing problem is increasing particularly in Amsterdam, Groningen, Rotterdam and Utrecht. The last two scored poorly on a previous ranking of best student city in terms of student housing policy. The LSVb sees an important task for these municipalities. Sewbaransingh: “Municipalities are responsible for adequate housing in their city. The figures from the monitor underline the urgency for the municipalities to act”.


Rents have remained approximately the same as last year. From the monitor, however, it appears that student income has fallen compared to last year. An increasing proportion of the disposable income goes to rent. Many students cannot pay this anymore. As a result, first and second year students are living with their parents more often. Sewbaransingh: “If students cannot afford housing, they cannot choose their preferred study when they live far away. This could have consequences for motivation and study success.”